Councillors should work from wards
Acting Local Government minister Fred Gumo has directed councillors countrywide to operate from their respective wards, unless they have meetings to attend in town halls. The minister argues that most councillors go to their respective headquarters to do nothing but idle and fight with chief officers every now and then.
This is not the first time such a call has been made. When the late Karisa Maitha took over in 2003, he ordered all councilors to operate from their wards but most of them ignored the call and continued to flock to their council headquarters to either cut deals or chase payments for various business transactions they had made.
This practice has encouraged corruption and fostered friction between political arms of councils and the executive, which is led by Town Clerks. In some cases, councillors have bitterly disagreed with chief officers and physically ejected some.
We agree with Gumo that councillors can better serve their people if they are closer to them, especially now that we are moving to a devolved system of government. The minister should go ahead and make it mandatory for the councillors to operate from the areas they were elected otherwise they will simply ignore him as they did with Maitha.
Respective councils should also get office space for ward representatives just like Parliament did with MPs who now have fully furnished and staffed constituency offices.
Quote of the day: “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” — Former US President George W Bush was born on July 6, 1946